Interview

We speak with puppeteer Toby Froud regarding the industry impact of Labyrinth & The Dark Crystal in celebration of the digital release of these classic movies #Labyrinth #DarkCrystal, #JimHenson #JimHensonCompany #ShoutStudios

We speak with puppeteer Toby Froud regarding the industry impact of Labyrinth & The Dark Crystal in celebration of the digital release of these classic movies

LABYRINTH

Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Lucasfilm Ltd. with creatures brought to life by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, LABYRINTH was directed by Jim Henson, who worked closely with acclaimed artist and Conceptual Designer Brian Froud, and Executive Producer George Lucas to create a mesmerizing fantasy movie adventure.

LABYRINTH, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, was originally released in 1986. The film is an unforgettable fantasy adventure that follows Sarah Williams (Connelly) as she makes her way through the labyrinth of the Goblin King Jareth (Bowie) in search of her little brother Toby. A mainstay of the fantasy genre with its spectacular visual effects and ground-breaking animatronics, LABYRINTH is of special interest to David Bowie fans worldwide as the film contains original songs written and recorded by Bowie especially for the film.

THE DARK CRYSTAL

From the brilliant imagination of Jim Henson, this puppetry work of genius recounts the timeless tales of good versus evil, becoming a cult favorite around the world. Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, the film features innovative animatronics and uniquely memorable characters created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™.  Since its initial release in 1982, the film has earned a place in cinematic history as a masterpiece of fantasy and continues to reign as one of the must-see classics of its genre.


Travel back in time to the faraway planet of Thra where evil Skeksis are in control and the Gelfling Jen, the last of his kind, is sent on a quest by the peaceful Mystics to find the missing shard that will restore balance and heal the world.

LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL now available worldwide in digital formats.


Criticólogos:

I’m a fan of 80’s and ‘90s movies, and I think this movie is the help define the industry when it comes to practical effects. And I wonder, what does it mean to you that new generations can get to witness what was released back then, now in the digital format?

Toby Froud:

I think it’s extremely important because what they’re seeing physically happened on screen, uh, it was strings, it was people. They are living creatures on screen every time. Um, so, you know, you can almost reach out and touch them. And it’s really important for people to be able to believe in those things and, be inspired by them, to want to create those things. And it’s tricky now, you know, people always think CG and all these other things, but you, you ground a character in reality and you, and it can maybe actually come out of the screen and touch you. That’s really interesting because it’s, um, dangerous and exciting, um, and makes people think.

Criticólogos:

The way I see it, there wouldn’t be any Avengers or any of these sorts of modern movies if we wouldn’t have, Labyrinth or The Dark Crystal, we didn’t have Gremlins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Short Circuit. All these movies were just classics that defined the industry. Between the two of them which one of them was more challenging to produce between them?

Toby Froud:

I would say, Dark Crystal certainly was probably more challenging just because it’s a whole world of puppets that are, um, believable. Uh, in that sense, you don’t you don’t ever really think that they’re puppets, um, when you’re watching it. Um, and I think what, what went on into the labyrinth was the fact that you then brought those, uh, realistic creatures. Um, they weren’t just effects, they were characters. They were fully-fledged characters that spent time on screen interacting with humans.

So, at that point, you got scale. You, you, you know, you realize, oh, wow, these things are right next to Sarah and Jareth and Toby and those creatures interacted with them. So it makes it even more real. It gives you that jump and leap forward again. I think they sort of built on each other. Um, I think Dark Crystal pioneered that way.

Criticólogos:

I know, a lot of young people will relate more to Labyrinth because of how the story develops instead of The Dark Crystal. What do you want this new generation to take away from these classics?

Toby Froud:

I think I think I’d love people to take away that anything’s possible, that you can tell a high fantasy story without a single human being, and it can work. Um, that you can tell, um, a dangerous and moving, uh, story with humans that interact with the fantastical and make you believe and want more and yearn to be there yourself. I think that’s the important thing, is that, um, it gives people the inspiration to create and believe in something other.

Criticólogos:

What can we expect when we come from the theatrical release to the digital version, what can we expect differently? Do we have something new? What was added or what was remastered in a way that people will see the difference?

Toby Froud:

Well, the things that you’ll see different is actually a clarity, um, certainly from the films. Um, uh, if you can ever see something, uh, in the original 70 millimeters, go and see it. That’s a beautiful way to see it with the grain. But what they’ve done is giving you a clarity that they’ve made them bright and in the right way. You know, they enhance the details because all the details are there, um, within the shots, within the scenes.

And that’s important, I think, for a digital age for people to understand that it’s real. It’s there. Um, it was on film, and, uh, you can finally see it in that way. Um, and then everything else that surrounds it, the making of the worlds, the audio, the, uh, commentary that goes with it, the artwork. There is so much more that builds on any movie that comes out and the collections that are being put together, um, are always wonderful to have because it just gives you a more rounded view.

Criticólogos:

I have a podcast where my counterpart is a Gen Z, and it’s cool when we interact with each other because we have different perspectives. And I will say most of my audience are millennials and Gen Zers. So, I want you to invite Gen Zers and tell them why they should watch Labyrinth and The Dark Crystals.

Toby Froud:

I think everyone, everyone young and old who hasn’t should see Dark Crystal and Labyrinth for the very reason that you get to see real magic on screen. You get to see something that you won’t know how it was done. You have no idea, um, what it took to create it. But you believe every second of what you’re watching, and to this day, you’ll believe that. I think it stands the test of time.

LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL now available worldwide in digital formats.

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